[balloon-makers] statoscope

Don Piccard DonPiccard at usfamily.net
Thu Mar 7 09:48:45 CST 2002

If you had chemistry class in high school, you probably made a "Wash bottle"
so you are now an expert glass blower.  Actually glass bender.  Real glass
blowers start from a blob of molten glass honey dipped on the end of the
blowpipe.  Lab techs start with tube, etc. and modify it by blowing, drawing
, bending, and welding.  Also a lot of finger burning.

The statoscope consist of a curved (syncline) narrowed, but not to a
capillary degree, and a bubble reservoir at each end.  The entries into the
bubbles from the outside air and instrument accumulator should be eye
dropper ends into the center of the bubble so that your instrument oil does
not get out.

The sensitivity is controlled by the fineness of the syncline and the volume
of the accumulator.  For the best stability, a Dewar flask makes an ideal
accumulator.  Note that on my first unit I used a heavy wine bottle wrapped
in insulation, because steel Thermos bottles were too expensive and glass
ones too fragile.

Gauge lines marked around the syncline or on any plaster back mount will be
very useful for precise observation.  Use only a droplet of red instrument
oil and it will swing back and forth as you contour a foot or so.  In actual
altitude change, the rate of climb can be evaluated by timing the bubble
bursts through the tube.  (Mine worked out, by trial and error observation,
that a nice rate of descent was a three second burst cycle.  I didn't learn
until later that it was equivalent to about 150 ft per minute, after I got
and compared it to a commercial variometer.)


Don Piccard, (Email: DonPiccard at USA.net)
1445 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3625
612/333-6912,     Cell: 612/703-7943

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Deering" <hot-air at deering.org>
To: <balloon-makers at mail.deering.org>
Sent: March 07, 2002 8:30 AM
Subject: Re: [balloon-makers] statoscope

> On 3/6/02, Don Piccard wrote:
> >Make your own Statoscope.
> I don't find any detailed online descriptions of a statoscope.  Are
> they difficult to make?
> How about a Suunto ($200) or Avocet ($160) wrist altimeter? Or any
> $100 GPS?  (I realize that an ordinary GPS is not very accurate
> vertically.)
> Tom
> ---
> tmd at deering.org    http://www.deering.org
> -------
> "Balloon-makers" is archived at
> http://www.hombc.org/balloon-makers

------ http://USFamily.Net/info - Unlimited Internet - From $8.99/mo! ------

"Balloon-makers" is archived at

More information about the Balloon-makers mailing list